Tasmanian Times

Environment

HCC, pulp mill, climate change

Vica Bayley MR

THE Wilderness Society today welcomed a motion, unanimously passed by councilors at last nights Hobart City Council meeting, that challenges the State Government to do more to combat climate change by reforming antiquated logging practices and rejecting Gunns’ pulp mill.

The council’s move is believed to be the first case where an elected government in Australia officially acknowledges the massive role the logging industry plays in causing climate change. It also appears to take into account the decades of high levels of emissions that would be generated by logging needed to feed the pulp mill.

“The Hobart City Council must be congratulated for cutting through the spin and seeing the logging industry for what it is. According to the Tasmanian Government’s Draft Strategy on Climate Change, the logging industry is Tasmania’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses by far,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

“Councilors must also be congratulated for standing up to the Lennon Labor government and holding them to account for the hypocritical stance of claiming the climate change high moral ground on one hand, yet supporting the logging of native forests and the pulp mill on the other.”

Sir Nicholas Stern highlighted the importance of retaining native forests in the battle to combat climate change. He stated, ‘Curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Action to preserve the remaining areas of natural forest is urgent’.

“It is welcome that a tier of government closest to the people, a local government, has picked up on the importance of forests in the battle to combat climate change and is prepared to hold the State Government to account,” continued Mr Bayley.

“We call on Premier Lennon, Prime Minister Rudd and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to heed the mounting scientific evidence and international advice and tackle climate change by protecting native forests.”

“With the pulp mill expected to add at least 2% to Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to adding 2.3 million cars on the road each year, stepping in and stopping the pulp mill is paramount to any credible government policy to combat climate change.”

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. don davey

    February 14, 2008 at 11:15 am

    (7)
    Mike ! i can’t find the anaesethist !

    d.d.

  2. Alex Wadsley

    February 13, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    The people to advise with respect to potential inadverdent use of chemicals by Gunns are ANZ and their technical, environmental and legal advisers.

    In order to finance the pulp mill, ANZ, along with a half dozen other banks, will need to get themselves comfortable that Gunns has the capacity to run a major chemical installation without major screw-ups.

    Companies that run chemical plants usually have exemplary safety records by comparison to other industries (Lost Time Injuries per million manhours and that sort of thing) because the impact of a screw-up is so massive. Du Pont is a world leader (and sold it’s oil subsidiary because it couldn’t get it safe enough). Gunns isn’t, and in my opinion, the corporate safety culture of a contract forestry company is unsuited to operating chemical plants.

    Along with the safety breach at Triabunna, this simply adds to the case that lending money to Gunns is a very risky business, particularly for one’s reputation if things start going wrong.

  3. john Hayward

    February 13, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    To Dave Mohr(#5) I can only suggest that the media is not up in arms because they have surrendered them years ago.

    Gunns is presently planning to spray immediately adjacent to two properties that we know of, one on Western Creek and the other on Cubits Creek, which also has karst which is supposed to be barred to spraying.

    The DPIW is now claiming that Gunns were planning to use Dominex Duo all along, which is approved for helicopter spraying in Tas as close to water as they want to go, even though aerial spraying normally has a drift zone from 5 times to infinity greater than the 100 metre buffer from the nearest dwelling currently required. They had apparently forgotten this when they abuptly cancelled the previous spray, but are now claiming the gum beetles had suddenly perished from natural causes after the spray notices had been posted.

    This is all encouraging, in a way, as it suggests that the Government is getting so outrageous as to eventually force an insurrection. Onya Thuggo!

    John Hayward

  4. Mike Adams

    February 13, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    #2. More and more it seems that local government is the only form of Opposition to the State government. (My apologies to George Town and its ‘massive’ endorsement of the proposed pulp mill)

    The Liberal party prides itself and promotes itself as the financially responsible party. Why don’t Hodgman and Co realise that the proposed pulp mill is now, and certainly will be, a financial disaster for this state. That would give them an out, give them a role to play as an opposition and make them seem like the good guys.

    They have a chance to criticise the State government’s refusal to investigate the Tamar catchment, its siltation and its possible flooding, (we all know why it was refused, don’t we?) but so far not a peep out of them.

    Don Davey – and Sorry for my spelling jibe – as a staunch Liberal for heaven’s sake get in there and wake the smug and ineffectual b_s up.

  5. Pilko

    February 13, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    We know that native forests are nature’s carbon sinks. We also know that Global deforestation accounts for around 20% of global CO2 emissions, and stopping native forest logging, which Gunns undertakes, is one of the easiest ways to decrease emissions.

    No one would doubt that deforestation is an important component of anthropogenic carbon emissions responsible for climate change. So how do we know whether deforestation in Tasmania is contributing to the total anthropogenic emissions of Australia? Well the authority in Australia is the Australian Greenhouse Office which apparently has developed a rather sophisticated tool to measure emissions from deforestation. Problem is the AGO DO NOT put logging under the deforestation category but under the ‘sustainable forestry’, so their analysis doesn’t include logging in Tasmania. Surprise, surprise!
    So according to the AGO there is no carbon-emitting deforestation in Australia.
    This of course is totally consistent with the Rudd/Garrett policy that acknowledges deforestation only in poor non-english speaking countries which of course being poor and non-english speaking countries are obviously rife with corruption and therefore make fabulously easy targets for Hubris seeking politicians.
    See guys when you work in the logging industry you just call your mates up in government, remind them about those big donations (see Bob Cheeks “confessions of a ferret salesman”)and get them to then enshrine corruption in law by writing the policies, protocols and laws in a way that twists and falsifies the true meanings of words and phrases like ‘protection’ ‘old growth’ and ‘native forest’ so you can continue on with business as usual.

  6. David Mohr

    February 13, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for the info John (#3),this is scandalous. Why isn’t the Tasmanian Media up in arms over this?

  7. No Joke

    February 13, 2008 at 12:10 am

    What a joke, but is this for real?
    First we had John Howard one and two, now we have John Gay the forest miner and John Gay the sustainability advisor:
    Sustainable Agriculture Information Links & Resources, by no other than John Gay, DVM PhD DACVPM:
    http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/courses-jmgay/SustainableAg.htm

    The purpose of this webpage is to provide veterinarians, students, livestock producers and consumers links to materials on the complex and inter-related issues impacting agricultural resilience, sustainability and food security. As many of these issues are controversial because they involve public policy decisions impacting major stakeholders, often with competing interests and opposing positions,

  8. john Hayward

    February 12, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    It may be safer to equip all children under six with hand grenades rather than to turn Gunns loose with chemicals in our catchments under the supervision of DPIW.

    We just caught them about to spray a 600 metre stretch of the Mersey river bank with alpha-cypermethrin from a helicopter (an unlicensed use), Alpha C is the stuff which took out the oysters in Georges Bay back in 2004 after it got into the Georges River, and which must never be allowed near water.

    The DPIW was completely supportive of this venture until given the regulations which forbade it.

    It would be interesting to have an actuarial estimate of the number of Tasmanians killed or made ill each year from the activities of flying cowboys in our catchments. Unfortunately, as Alison Bleaney discovered to her amazement, nobody in the government appears to be responsible for monitoring such matters.

    John Hayward

  9. anne

    February 12, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Well done Hobart City Council. Can we hope that every other local council in Tasmania might now follow suit?

    I hope this media release has been sent to every local councillor in the state, as well as Kevin Peter & Penny.

    Now he’s got the flavour of ‘sorry’ in his mouth, it should be easier for Kevin to apologise to John Gay, for withdrawing all federal support and approval for a controversial stinking, polluting pulp mill that will only add to the world’s climate change woes.

    We can but hope.

  10. Frank Strie

    February 12, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Not wrong Vica, responsible forest and natural resource management is different than what we experienced until now.
    How can a 500,000to/pa biomass plant be “Green”??
    Think about the logistic problems attached..

    From my point of view, the ACCC has every good reason to investigate the Tasmanian situation with the giant GUNNS “greenest mill” swindel and the Lennon’s Pulpmill green spin!!

    On a postive front Vica and all, please make use of this offer:
    This PowerPoint presentation, prepared by Swedish Systems Ecologist, Folke Günther free of charge, explains the science, urgency and potential of carbon sequestration with bio-sequestration.
    All it takes is some of your limited time, but so be it, me thinks.
    It is important for as many people around the world as possible to get the latest understanding about the cabon science, understand the urgency and possibility of carbon sequestration through bio- sequestration!
    Please feel free to share this link with as many people as you like.
    Best wishes
    Just Frank again

    “Let’s interrogate the forces or entrenched ideas
    that stymie progress so effectively and
    investigate new structures and mechanisms
    to engage our considerable human ingenuity
    to secure the future for our children and
    ourselves. (feasta.org)

    A working Link:

    The powerpoint includes some very well-put-together animations to explain the chemistry of carbon. It’s quite a large file, at 13 MB, but well worth downloading to take a look. It is on the Feasta website. (please right-click your mouse on the link below and select “save file”, otherwise your browser will freeze):

    http://www.feasta-multimedia.org/2007_energy/carbseq-whyandhow.ppt

    What do others think?

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